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Christmas is around the corner and I can’t wait!

Ready or not, you have three months from today for the big holiday to arrive.

Three months to plan.  Three months to shop.  To wrap.  To ship.  To decorate.  To bake…

I know… it’s a little crazy to start thinking about Christmas when many are still having summer temperatures.  However, the holidays are SO much better in our home if I start planning now.

For years, I would totally get myself overwhelmed and inevitably have a meltdown that left me in tears at all that needed to get done.  And Tyson would try to encourage me by saying something like “we don’t need to do, or buy, or ship” or whatever it was that triggered the freakout, which would just start another round of tears and me wondering how I could’ve married such a man.

Truly… good times!

And then I started planning ahead.  I typically start by mid-October (if not before) with the goal of being finished by December 1st.  And whatever isn’t done by the 1st, I make sure is taken care of at the absolute latest by the Friday the kids are out for Christmas Break.  This has worked well for a few reasons:

  • Most of my family lives out of the area.  I have time to get their presents out to them without standing in a nightmare line at the post office.  I’m constantly late with birthday presents, but not with Christmas.
  • Planning ahead gives me the time to actually do fun things with my kids while they are home from school instead having them wonder why I’m having a nervous breakdown.
  • Portland has also had a few snowy Decembers that have left me so incredibly thankful that I didn’t need to leave the house to finish my shopping.
  • It doesn’t kill us financially.  Because I’m buying a little over a longer period of time, I watch for sales and it’s a lot easier to keep within our budget.

So as I’m enjoying apple picking and pumpkin carving, I’m keeping an eye out for cute wrapping paper and gift ideas.  I’m placing online orders and I may have freakishly already designed my Christmas cards… which is nice since last year I didn’t send any at all.

I know this approach isn’t for everyone.  Some have very fun traditions of going the week before or having a marathon day where they do it all.  So how do you handle the holidays? What are your favorite tips and tricks? Do you thrive on getting everything done in one day? Do you have at least one cry-fest during the month of December?  That was only me? Alrighty then…